Ben Bland

Director, Southeast Asia Program
Areas of expertise

Southeast Asian politics and foreign policy; South China Sea; regional economic trends; China-ASEAN relations; Indonesia; Malaysia; Vietnam; Hong Kong

Ben Bland
Biography
Publications
News and media

Ben Bland is a former Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute. He is the author of Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia (Penguin Random House, 2020), the first English language political biography of Indonesia’s president, and Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow (Penguin Random House, 2017).

At the Lowy Institute, he also wrote analysis papers examining the state of Indonesian democracy and the potential for the Australia-India-Indonesia trilateral relationship, among other research projects.

Ben regularly writes opinion pieces for and provides expert comment to a wide range of international media organisations, including Bloomberg, Foreign Policy, the New York TimesNikkei Asia and Reuters.

Before joining the Lowy Institute, Ben was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, with postings in Jakarta, Hanoi and Hong Kong and experience reporting across China and Southeast Asia over the previous decade. He has an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Cambridge.

Ben’s position was supported by the Lowy Institute’s Engaging Asia Project, which was established with the financial support of the Australian Government.

Lowy Institute Conversations: Aye Min Thant and Melissa Crouch on the coup in Myanmar
Podcasts
Lowy Institute Conversations: Aye Min Thant and Melissa Crouch on the coup in Myanmar
In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, Ben Bland, Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute, sits down with Aye Min Thant and Melissa Crouch to…
Commentary
In the defining year of his presidency, Joko Widodo faces an incredibly difficult challenge
Originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Commentary
Indonesia's Jokowi turns politics into a family business
One-time furniture maker who fought his way to the top was meant to be different. Originally published in Nikkei Asia.
COVIDcast: Tom Tugendhat on forging a “Global Britain” in the midst of Brexit and a pandemic
Podcasts
COVIDcast: Tom Tugendhat on forging a “Global Britain” in the midst of Brexit and a pandemic
In this episode of COVIDcast, Ben Bland, a research fellow at the Lowy Institute, sat down with Tom Tugendhat MP to discuss the UK’s COVID-19 crisis.
COVIDcast: Chatib Basri on Indonesia’s struggle with COVID-19 and its first recession since 1998
Podcasts
COVIDcast: Chatib Basri on Indonesia’s struggle with COVID-19 and its first recession since 1998
In this episode of COVIDcast, Ben Bland, the Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute, sat down with Chatib Basri to discuss Indonesia’s struggle with COVID-19.
COVIDcast: Ben Bland On Indonesian President Joko Widodo, A Man Of Contradictions
Podcasts
COVIDcast: Ben Bland On Indonesian President Joko Widodo, A Man Of Contradictions
In this episode of COVIDcast, Hervé Lemahieu, Director of the Asian Power and Diplomacy Program at the Lowy Institute, sat down with Ben Bland to discuss his new book.
The limits of Zoom diplomacy in Asia
The limits of Zoom diplomacy in Asia
A whirlwind of online diplomatic speed-dating doesn’t allow the impromptu conversations where real business is done.
Commentary
Indonesia's Economy Needs More Than A Reboot from Jokowi
Originally published in Bloomberg.
Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia
Lowy Institute Papers
Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia
The first English-language political biography of Joko Widodo, to be published on 1 September 2020 by Penguin Specials as a Lowy Institute Paper.
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